Sports Betting Strategy: Line Shopping
Line Shopping is a Must in Sports Betting
It’s easy for many sports bettors to get familiar with using a particular sportsbook for placing wagers. The art of line shopping is something that has to be learned. However, even though point spreads, over/under totals and other odds are generally similar, they aren’t always the same.
Various sports betting sites can end up offering different spreads and odds for many reasons.
Whether those wagering on sports use offshore or domestic sites, there are usually a number of options available. State-regulated sports betting, which is growing at a fast pace in the United States, generally offers several options.
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Do Different Odds and Spreads Really Matter?
For an active sports gambler, half a point in either direction can make a big difference in winning or losing a wager. Particularly in the NFL, point spreads and over/under totals are thoroughly analyzed and difficult to beat.
Eventually, though, each sportsbook has to adjust its lines in reaction to the wagering activity on its own site. This results in some differences in lines and odds that can prove advantageous to someone willing to look around.
Using a line shopping strategy can be very beneficial, but it also takes some effort to execute successfully. Some sites offer comparisons of lines that can serve as a starting point of the research effort. It’s still up to the bettor to check on the current odds for accuracy.
One known example of differing lines is at America’s Bookie. They have a large demographic of bettors from Boston. Most fans are homers, and will bet on their team regardless. This will always shift the line in your favor if you are betting against the Pats.
Why Different Lines and Odds?
It also isn’t just a matter of differences in point spreads and over/under totals. In many cases, sportsbooks will offer the same spreads or totals but pay different odds. Generally, a winning bet on the favorite or the underdog against the spread carries odds of -110.
This means a winning wager of $110 will net $100. To move action toward one team or another, the sportsbook can simply change the point spread. Another way to incent a movement in wagers is to change the odds that are paid out.
Although those changes can be subtle, like moving from -110 to -120 for the favorite, they can also be more drastic. Sportsbooks in certain geographic areas may get a lot of action on the local teams. Instead of moving the spread, which is much more obvious, they may end up altering the odds.
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In some cases, the odds offered for the opponent of the local team may end up moving to +120. This creates more activity on the non-local team and helps the sportsbook balance their bets. For a line shopper, those types of opportunities are available, taking emotion out of the equation.
Learning where to find different betting lines and how to use them can be very profitable for the active sports bettor. Picking the proper side of a bet is critical, but getting the best odds can be equally important.
Limiting the house edge by looking for positive odds can mean a difference of $10 to $20 on a winning bet. Using a line shopping strategy for sports betting is a great way to win more money in the long term. After all, if you aren’t trying to win money, why bet at all?
If one of the problems you are having is knowing where to bet on sports, check out our sportsbook page now.